Stress is part of everyday living and not all stress is bad. A 20-minute workout for a fit and trim 65-year old is good stress. The same workout for an out-of-shape 35-year old would likely be bad stress. Our reaction to stress is based upon our condition and overall health. Stress can take three forms, physical, chemical and emotional.
What can go wrong
A whiplash injury from a car accident is an obvious source of physical stress. As are repetitive motions, a slip or fall, lack of sleep or overdoing it in the garden. Early on, learning to walk or ride a bike and even the birth process itself are sources of physical stress. Accumulated physical stress exhausts our reserves until something as simple as sneezing can result in an injury. Osteopathic medicine helps to restore your capacity to cope with life’s everyday physical stresses.
Common sources of chemical stress include poor nutrition, sugar, refined carbohydrates and unhealthy fats. Drugs, preservatives, tobacco, vaccinations, alcohol, pollen and a host of other substances also affect our nervous systems, muscle tone and our spine. Symptoms begin to appear when you lose your ability to adapt to these chemical stressors.
Emotional stress like fear, grief, anger and other emotions affect our entire body. Notice the posture of someone who is sad or depressed. Frustration or a sense of powerlessness at work are common forms of emotional stress. Clearly, it’s not the stress but our response to it that is critical. Osteopathic care reduces tension in the body’s musculoskeletal and nervous systems, helping you respond more resourcefully. Of course, osteopathic care can not eliminate stress, but it can help increase your capacity to accommodate stress better.